A 17-year old boy who violated the Movement Control Order (MCO) was fined RM100 but the High Court today increased the fine to RM1,000 after uncovering more information regarding his case.
On 12 April 2020, the teenager and his girlfriend were riding on a motorcycle before crashing into a buffalo lying in the middle of the road near an oil palm factory. It caused his 17-year old girlfriend to die at the scene due to severe head injuries.
He then carried the victim on his motorcycle about 15km to her house where he left her body in the garage of her family home.
Judge Datuk Zainal Azman Ab Aziz made the decision after allowing the prosecution’s appeal against the RM100 imposed on the teenager by Rompin’s Magistrate Court on 16 July 2020 after he pleaded guilty for violating the MCO by being outside of his house at 3:15 am on the date of the incident.
Hazwan Hamdan, the lawyer who represents the teenager told media that Zainal Azman had decided there was a need for him to amend the sentence given by the Rompin Magistrate Court.
“The court is of view that the amount of fine should be increased to RM1000 as under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures in Local Infected Areas) Regulations 2020 or it will be a reference for other people to obtain lower fines in the future,” he said.
Hazwan said the judge also ordered the form five student as a respondent to serve one month in jail if he fails to pay the fine. It is understood that his brother had cleared the fine, Bernama reported.
However, Zainal Azman rejected the prosecution’s appeal against the Magistrate Court’s order for the teenager to perform community service for 120 hours for a period of 18 months, attend the Social Welfare Department (JKM) interactive workshop, as well as pay RM3,000 in compensation to his girlfriend’s family.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nasrul Hadi Abdul Ghani in a written submission said the RM100 fine which was too low, was feared to be a benchmark that anyone who violates the MCO would not receive severe and appropriate punishment when its implementation is to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“The admission of wrong age and factor of the respondent should not be the main factor in sentencing because during the incident, the respondent has a normal and perfect level of thinking and adequate educational background to assess the cause and effect of his actions,” he said.
Lawyer Ahmad Deniel Roslan, who also represented the teenager in a written argument, said there was no need to amend the Magistrate Court’s sentence for upholding the principles of justice and adequacy as his client has no past criminal record and pleaded guilty at an early stage.
“What is more important is that the respondent can continue schooling and take the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination this year. In fact, the respondent and his family have met with the teenage girl’s family to apologise for the incident,” he said.